Rishad returns to lead Lanka’s industry and commerce

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:44 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Rishad Bathiudeen will once again serve as the country’s Minister of Industry and Commerce, with the private sector hailing his return on 12 January. Minister Bathiudeen took his oaths before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat during the swearing-in ceremony of the new Cabinet. Minister Bathiudeen held the portfolio of the Industry and Commerce Ministry from 2011 to 2014. Since 2011, as the Minister in charge of Sri Lanka’s international trade, he represented the country at many global, multilateral and regional forums. In August 2013 Bathiudeen also took over the Chairmanship of the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) Ministerial Council. Minister Bathiudeen was also instrumental in enlisting the support of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to secure copyright, patents and geographical indicators for Sri Lanka’s designs, creations and export product-lines such as Pure Ceylon Cinnamon and Pure Ceylon Tea while an initiative to ensure Geographical Indicators for Ceylon Blue Sapphires is currently in progress. Under the Minister’s guidance, Sri Lanka’s exports saw steady growth, reporting record performances in October 2013. Several members from Sri Lanka’s private sector, especially industrialists and exporters, hailed Minister Bathiudeen’s return on 12 January. “We are most glad to welcome Minister Bathiudeen back to the domain and the fold,” said Tuly Cooray, the Secretary-General of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), upon learning about Minister Bathiudeen’s return. “We are now ready to move forward faster,” he added.